Brain injuries common with construction site accidents
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that approximately 200,000 construction workers are currently employed in Illinois alone. Construction is both a primary industry in the country, and one of the most dangerous, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. In fact, out of nearly 4,000 workplace fatalities in 2013, 796 were the result of construction site accidents. Jobsite safety continues to be a major concern for construction workers.
According to a study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, the construction industry is in the top three professions contributing to work-related brain injuries and fatalities. A traumatic brain injury, or TBI, may result from falls, electrocution, being struck by an object or caught in between things, which are the four main causes of construction worker injuries and deaths. Falls account for the largest percentage of head trauma. For example, construction workers are in danger of falling from buildings, ladders or heavy equipment. Even when a worker survives a blunt trauma to the head, the lasting effects can be devastating.
Mental disabilities from head trauma can be permanent
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention describe a traumatic brain injury as a penetrating or violent blow to the head that interrupts normal mental function. The brain is extremely complex, containing approximately 100 billion cells and 300 trillion connections between them. Head trauma can affect any of the cells and neural pathways and disrupt functions, including the following:
• Physical abilities
Recovery from a head injury often takes months or years. Seizures, confusion, speech or vision problems and lack of coordination are a few of the debilitating side effects that may be permanent.
Health problems from a traumatic brain injury may be delayed
Not all of the effects of a brain trauma are immediately apparent. The Alzheimer’s Association reports that some preliminary research studies have linked traumatic brain injuries to later development of dementia, Parkinson’s and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS. A construction worker who sustains a blow to the head should seek medical attention right away, even if symptoms appear to be mild or non-existent.
There is a two-year statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim in the state of Illinois. It is wise to consult with an attorney as soon as possible after the accident to ensure that adequate compensation is received to cover current and future medical expenses, pain and suffering.